Words and communication are complicated. Though we seek out those with whom we have common interests, we rely on their words (and actions) to determine whether we keep those people in our lives.
It’s through communicating—using our words—that we’re able to get to the crux of who someone is and what their viewpoint/opinion is. How often have you heard a mother say to a child when that child is frustrated, angry, or anxious: Use your words!
Words, when strung together in such a way that they evoke inspiration or emotion or what the soul needs, can literally save us. Using them to inspire, promote, encourage, soothe, inform, and spread positive messages are one of the most important things we can do.
So often, someone saying something to me just when I needed to hear it the most has made a difference in how I view a situation or a life lesson. Or I read something or hear a song and the words reflect exactly how I feel.
It’s why I string them together—to make a point, to receive validation, to entertain, to inspire, to be heard, and to leave my mark. It’s why you do too. We leave a legacy with them. From reading your posts, I glean some sense of who you are. I try to use my words justly, for lack of a better word.
Words – Harder than Stones, Sharper than Sticks – and Salvation for the Soul
Remember the quote—Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me? I disagree. They can harm greatly. The way in which we use them on this massive platform has made both positive and negative impacts on lives. I bet you can remember some of the loveliest ones uttered to you and the most hateful ones. I think they can change the trajectory of a life—that’s how powerful they are.
There was a time in my life when things were seriously messed up. I didn’t know who I was, what I wanted, where I would end up. I went to the doctor with strange aches and pains. Stress can tap dance all over you.
After receiving the news that nothing was wrong with me, I cried in relief and in frustration. The doctor, a kind and empathetic soul, told me that I needed to find a way in which to manage my stress. After listening patiently as she quoted the usual remedies—meditation, relaxation techniques, yoga, exercise–and watching me as my eyes glazed over, she said this:
“We don’t always understand why things happen the way they do. But you’ll get through this and you’ll be better and stronger because of it. I know this. Everything’s going to be alright, you’ll see.”
She then recommended a book, Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts. It was all about despair, survival, hope, and things working out. Her words and the sincerity behind them changed me. Would I have ended up in the same place had I not heard them? I don’t know, but what she said to me was exactly what my troubled heart and tortured soul needed at that moment.
The Best Words Can Change the World
If you’re a lover of words, prose, poetry, I bet you have a journal for the purpose of writing phrases or quotes down. I do. Sometimes they’re thoughts of my own, some are from conversations I’ve heard in various places and others are quotes from great writers, philosophers, songwriters, poets, artists, leaders, and thinkers.
Below are a few quotes regarding words and writing.
I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions. –James Michener
Words are loaded pistols. –Jean-Paul Sartre
Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill. –Buddha
Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind. –Rudyard Kipling
The difference between the almost right word & the right word is really a large matter—it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning. –Mark Twain
Words create sentences; sentences create paragraphs; sometimes paragraphs quicken and begin to breathe. –Stephen King
I’m apt to get drunk on words…Ontology: the word about the essence of things; the word about being. –Madeliene L’Engle
Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak knits up the o-er wrought heart and bids it break. –William Shakespeare
I know nothing in the world that has as much power as a word. Sometimes I write one, and I look at it, until it begins to shine. –Emily Dickinson
But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling, like dew, upon a thought produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions think. –George Gordon Byron
Now, don’t get me started on words about love, friendship, joy, hardship, loss, and the like. That’s a whole other post.
When have words changed you? Resonated with your soul or heart? Who are your favorite writers, poets, and songwriters? Any favorite quotes or words?
Use your words and choose them wisely. 😉
P.S. (Enjoy some words from the great Van Morrison while you’re writing some of your own. They all come from our own personal and mystical place, don’t they?)